Intro to Discrimination

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Speak to your Director or Human Resources team who will be able to advise!

Test your Knowledge

In what year did the Equality Act come into force?

  • October 2010
  • May 1973
  • June 2011
  • December 1988

What is the purpose of the Equality Act?

  • The Equality Act 2010 protects the rights of individuals providing equality of opportunity for all.
  • It is deisgned to favour one group of individual, enabling faster progression for that protected group
  • The Equality Act 2010 is designed to support equal pay rights for all
  • It is to give a voice to the under represented minorties within the workplace

Select the 9 protected characteristics covered by the Equality Act.

  • Age
  • Disability
  • Gender(sex)
  • Gender reassignment
  • Sexual orientation
  • Marriage/civil partnerships
  • Pregnancy and Maternity
  • Race
  • Religion or belief
  • Hair colour
  • Accent
  • Educational background
  • Native Language

What is discrimination?

Discrimination means treating a person  because of who they are or because they possess certain .  It is 

Your client has conducted first interviews with 4 of your candidates. He now wants them all to complete health questionnaires before the recruitment process continues. Should you ask your candidates to complete them?

  • No
  • Yes

Is there anything wrong with this excerpt from an online advert?

“This role requires someone with a strong work ethic who will work the long hours needed to be successful.  You will ideally have graduated in the last couple of years and have the energy and drive to be successful in a competitive environment.  It’s important that English is your mother tongue.”

  • Yes
  • No

What four criteria should be used in selecting suitable candidates for a job?

  • Experience
  • Skills
  • Qualifications
  • Ability
  • Age
  • Current Salary
  • Location

You have just put an offer to a candidate and, during the call, she tells you that she has just found out she is pregnant. Do you tell the client?

  • No
  • Yes

A client rejects a 53-year-old candidate after interviewing them citing the reason as “they are just not the right fit for the department”. What should you do in this instance?

  • Request further feedback, based on skills, experience and qualificaitons.
  • Explain to the candidate the client didn't feel they were a good "fit" with the team culture
  • Make up feedback as to why you think they didn't like the candidate and deliver this to the candidate.
  • Ignore the feedback and tell the candidate you haven't heard back from the client

Is this an acceptable reason to reject the candidate?

You have just interviewed a candidate for one of your retainers.  John has excellent skills, experience and qualification for the job.  During the interview John explains that he shares the care of his disabled son with his wife so he can’t do a lot of over-time over an extended period of time.  The client has high expectations of employees so you decide not to shortlist John.  Is this an acceptable reason to reject him?

  • No
  • Yes

What should you do in this situation?

Your client rings you after interviewing one of your candidates.  In interview, the candidate explained that she was off work for 6 months because she was diagnosed with cancer.  She is now in remission and doesn’t require further treatment.  Your client tells you they are rejecting the candidate because they are a small company and they can’t afford to have someone off sick for a long period of time.  

  • Explain to your client that rejecting the candidate on this basis is unlawful and they could expose themselves to a potential discrimination case. Under the Equality Act 2010 cancer is considered a disability and therefore a protected characteristic.
  • Find a larger company and spec the candidate into them hoping to arrange an interview request
  • Advise the candidate to say that they were taking a career break for future interviews

Acceptable or not?

You have just registered a job and you post your on-line advert.  You do not stipulate that fluent German is a requirement of the role but, of the 60 applications you receive, 10 of the candidates state they have fluent German.  You remember the MD mentioning to you that he is half German and has a large number of UK based German clients so a German speaker would be useful.  You decide to reject the 50 applicants who don’t have fluent German and focus on the 10 that do.  Is that ok?

  • No
  • Yes

What would you do?

You have just met a candidate who originally submitted a CV as Gary Brown. When the candidate arrived he was dressed in women’s clothes and mentioned that he is going through gender reassignment and wishes to be knows as Gillian Brown from now on.  Gillian has excellent experience for a job you currently have for a manufacturing company.  She has a niche skill set which you are struggling to find in the market.  You have met the client and walked around the site; it’s a very male dominated environment.  What do you do?

  • Decide not to submit Gillian for the job on the basis of her “cultural” fit
  • Submit the candidate’s original CV as Gary Brown and tell the candidate they should consider wearing male clothing for the interview as they have a better chance of securing the role
  • Submit the CV as Gillian Brown and then ring the client and tell them the candidate is undergoing gender reassignment
  • Submit the CV as Gillian Brown

What does this mean for you?

When do I need to consider discrimination and diversity?

  • When writing job adverts
  • When screening and selecting candidates
  • When interacting with colleagues